Date: 9/10/19 8:43 pm
From: Thomas Slater via Groups.Io <tomslaterphotography=<yahoo.com...>
Subject: [slocobirding] Arctic Terns
With all the reports coming in, and having missed out on this species a couple times in previous years, I had to roll the dice on a late afternoon search. I met Brad Schram at Pismo Beach at 3:30 and he brought his scope. There were obviously thousands of terns off shore, but with the wind and scope vibration it was next to impossible to get a satisfactory look, or even a solid ID. Then Brad's phone rang and someone reported seeing a hundred or so Arctic Terns on the beach one mile south of us at the Grand Ave. entrance. So I bid Brad a fast farewell and booked it back to my car and got to the ramp as soon as possible. There they were, two different flocks, hundreds of Arctic Terns on the beach. What a fun way to get a rare life bird. Curtis and Brad showed up about 20 minutes later.

I drove home to Nipomo, picked up Owen after cross country practice and drove back. They had all taken flight and were headed out to sea where there were whale spouts 300-400 yards off shore. It was a bummer he couldn't get closer looks, but he is familiar with how it goes with birds.
I urge anyone who hasn't tried yet, to get out there and see this. Definitely unusual. Thanks to Brad and the mystery caller who tipped us off. I tried to make a text report at the beach. Those timely notifications are key to others' success.

I have 3 photos here - https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59675993
Bird on,

Tom Slater
Nipomo

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